• Published 3rd Nov 2014
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Cards Against Equinity - Door Matt



A Party Game for Scandalous Ponies

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The Game (Pt. 1)

Cards Against Equiniti

by Door Matt

“Soooooo? What do you think? Doesn’t it look like a super duper new way to have some fun!?”

Twilight Sparkle glanced for a moment at her jubilant friend’s expression before looking back at the black box perched precariously on her back. She scanned the wording on the cover for a second time:

Cards

Against

Equiniti

A party game for scandalous ponies

“It looks...unique, I’ll give it that,” Twilight replied rather hesitantly. Being ambushed by Pinkie while out innocently browsing the market was by no means a one-off experience, and while the results were never boring, Twilight preferred to err on the side of caution. Still, the box looked harmless enough, and who didn’t like a party game every now and then? Had to be an improvement over the ‘mystery goo’ from last time. “What’s it about?”

Pinkie spun a full 180 degrees, revealing the text on the back of the box. Twilight took a step forward to be able to read the smaller font.

The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and the other players answer with their funniest White Card.

“Iron Will LOVES this game!”

Iron Will

“A new must for any party!”

Cheese Sandwich

“Completely deserving of royal approval!”

Prince Blueblood

“Why does everyone hate me?”

Flash Sentry

“A game.”

Maud Pie

Cards Against Equiniti is distributed by Doctor Disco, and is a registered trademark of Cards Against Equiniti LLC. Do not steal the name or I will crush you.

Started with BUCKSTARTER™

“Uh huh…” Twilight blinked, failing to make much sense of what she’d just read. “And this ‘Doctor Disco’, you bought it from them?”

“Nuh uh. Maud sent it to me in the mail!” Pinkie replied, ears rolling in delight. “Between you and me, I think she’s proud to have her name on something and wanted to show off, but I’ve gotta play it with you guys to know how great it is!”

“Well...I don’t see why not. It is a pretty big achievement to have your name credited on any kind of product. Plus Cheese seems to like it too. You want the girls and I to come over this evening?” In truth, Twilight wasn’t sure what to make of Maud’s recommendation, though at the very least, it sure sounded like her type of ‘blessing’. Plus a few ponies over by the market stalls were casting odd glances towards the dark carton and Twilight wanted to hurry the conversation along.

“Not to the bakery. The Cakes are trying to get Pumpkin and Pound to settle in earlier, and you know what those rapscallions are like!” Pinkie paused to give Twilight a knowing look. “I already asked Rarity earlier, and she said we could all play it at the Boutique! I think her parents are still on that trip to Manehatten so...yeah! You’re in?” Pinkie launched into a series of barely-contained-anticipation hops, and her earth pony roots showed as her hooves formed an ever-growing crater in the ground,

“A-absolutely!” Twilight replied quickly, before Pinkie could stamp a hole big enough for someone to fall into.

“Woohoo! You rock Twilight! And I’m not just saying that as an expert on rocks!” Pinkie said, causing the alicorn to smirk. For some reason, the geological puns just never seemed to get old; ironic considering the subject matter. “Turn up an hour after sunset. Now I gotta go find Dashy. You seen her?”

“Umm…” Twilight thought for a second. “I think she’d be with the weather team toda-”

Suddenly a large portion of Pinkie’s mane turned a quite strong shade of green. Twilight’s jaw dropped mid-sentence and hung there.

“What’s up?” Pinkie followed her friend’s eye-line upwards. “Oh! Ooh ooh ohh! Strong air currents flowing down from Canterlot Mountain! Dashy must be lowering air pressure over the Everfree! See you later Twilight!”

And in a cloud of colour, Pinkie was gone, leaving Twilight to stand slack-jawed for another twenty seconds before her mental capacity returned.

What seemed to be the latest in a long line of temperate nights settled in as Twilight casually approached Carousel Boutique. Not a single cloud in sight spoiled the view of the sparkling night sky. Promising signs of a pleasant evening ahead.

“Dear! Welcome! Do come in. How is Spikey-Wikey?” Rarity answered the door with a little more buzz than Twilight was expecting. Maybe this game had already made the rounds in certain Canterlot circles?

“Oh, he’s fine.” Twilight replied. “A little suspicious about what this meetup was about, but he’s always grateful for any chance to hang out with the Crusaders. Sweetie was okay to sleepover at Apple Acres?”

“Of course! She relishes any chance to stay with them.” Rarity said, leading Twilight through the immaculate entrance hall.

As should have been expected, Pinkie was already present - chatting to Rainbow Dash at a round table set up in the middle of Rarity’s living room, no doubt already discussing the quaint black box sitting innocently between them.

“Hey Twilight,” Dash called over with a lazily waved hoof. “You ever heard of this thing before?”

“Me? No,” Twilight said, pulling up a chair next to Pinkie. Like every other seating object in the Boutique, the plush lining and feather cushioning made it ludicrously comfy. “I’m probably as new to this as you are, but then Princess Celestia said I should never stop trying new things and...well...you only live once right?”

“Is that a reference to something? I feel like that’s a reference to something...” Pinkie began muttering what sounded like a repeated chorus of "yolo" under her breath.

Before Twilight could answer, her ears pricked as the front door rattled with knocks. Rarity sped away, and soon returned with Applejack and Fluttershy in tow.

“Howdy y’all. Gotta say I’m mighty curious about this here game you’ve arranged.”

“Me too.” Fluttershy followed Applejack’s lead in casting an inquisitive eye over the box, before taking up the remaining empty seats. “I don’t think I’ll do well - I’ve never done very good at games - but I’ll do my best.”

“I don’t think you need to worry dear,” Rarity said, levitating a tray of drinks onto the table with her magic. “We’re all equally new to this game after all.”

Dash grabbed the nearest glass and sniffed at it. “Aww, was hoping for cider.”

“Alcohol? Certainly not!” Rarity gasped. “I do have some Prench Chablis stashed somewhere but that’s being saved for a special occasion. You’ll have to make do with pineapple juice.”

Dash slumped grumpily into her chair, while a purple aura enveloped the game box. Pinkie visibly shook with delight as Twilight raised the lid off, revealing an extraordinarily thin instruction booklet, and naturally - the cards themselves.

“Huh. That’s it? I was expected a board or something, like that...whashat one called...Monopony?” Applejack asked, a tad disappointedly.

“Mmm. Do we just use the cards?” Twilight levitated the booklet over to herself and studied it briefly, flipping it over between her hooves. “Oh I think we do. Guess this really is as simple as it looks, not much to read at all.”

“Sooooo…?” Pinkie grinned. “Are we ready to do this?”

“Heck yeah!”

“You bet.”

“Absolutely!”

“Sure…”

“Then I declare this game of Cards Against Equiniti begun! May the funniest pony win!” Pinkie announced, stretching her left hoof out in front victoriously and narrowly missing knocking over her own drink in the process. “The rules, if you please...”

“Okay,” Twilight flipped open the paper booklet and began reading. “‘To start the game, each player draws ten white cards.’”

“Fair enough,” Applejack reached out for the open box; around 80% of the contents a clear lighter shade than the rest.

“Oooh, wait a second. Allow me,” Twilight said, lighting up her horn. Sixty cards rose upwards like pegasi on a hot air current and shuffled around in the air. Gradually, the airborne pack dealt itself around the table as more than a few impressed pairs of eyes looked on.

“Psshh. Showoff,” Rainbow muttered as the last card settled down in front of Fluttershy.

“Sorry, sorry,” Twilight blushed slightly. “Trixie gave me that card magic book for my birthday and...well....I couldn’t resist. Spike can’t get enough of it.”

“C’moonn. I wanna learn how to play. Can I read these yet or what?” Rainbow’s question prompted a panicked Fluttershy to hurriedly return the card she’d picked up back to her pile.

“Patience Rainbow!” Rarity said. “All in good time.”

Twilight looked back at the booklet. “Right, okay. ‘The game begins with the Card Tzar. This is the pony who most recently po-’”

Five faces looked on as Twilight stopped dead in her tracks, and brought the booklet right up to her face.

“Umm...Twi? You okay there?” Applejack asked, and looked around to see equally puzzled expressions on her friends.

“Aheheh. You know what?” Twilight chuckled nervously with reddened cheeks as she lowered the instructions, but still close enough for only herself to read. “I’ll start as Card Tzar and keep things simple. Umm...ah! I need one of the black ones.”

Pinkie instinctively complied, reaching inside the box and sliding a single black card over. “You read this one out to us, right?”

“Yes, that seems to be the case. ‘Each black card has a fill-in-the-blank phrase or a question,” she continued to read. “Everyone else answers the question or fills in the blank by passing one white card face down, to the Card Tzar. He or she then shares each card combination with the group. For full effect, re-read the black card before presented each answer. The Card Tzar then picks the funniest play, and whoever submitted it gets one awesome point.’”

“Seriously?” Rainbow asked with a sudden straight posture, to which Twilight nodded. “This sounds like my sorta game already!” Fluttershy smiled while Applejack and Rarity managed to time their eye-rolling together.

“‘After the round, the next player becomes the Card Tzar, and everyone draws back up to ten cards’...ahh I see...so we always have ten.” Twilight said, reading on a little bit. “There’s a bit here about some black cards having two blanks, and there’s a whole bunch of alternate rules, but we should probably stick with the original game for now.”

“Agreed,” Applejack nodded. “Well go on, let’s hear that there first card. I’m itching to hear what lame puns you gals reckon is good comedy.”

“Oh, it, is, on!” Rarity’s eyes lit up in defiance. “I may not know much about stand-up, but surely some of the vaudeville in Manehatten’s clubs has rubbed off on me while I visited there.”

“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that,” Rainbow uttered as she banged her cards together, earning herself an evil look from the unicorn.

“Shots fired this early!? We haven’t even started yet!” Pinkie giggled, already leafing through her own pile.

Twilight couldn’t prevent a brief snort of laughter. A bookworm she might be, but the others could be right dorks in certain situations too. Part of the reason why she loved them so much. “Well, that’s certainly got us in the right mood! Okay, first card...”

Twilight made an unnecessary but effective show of slowly flipping over the black card; all five of her friends subtly but noticeably craned their heads forward in anticipation. The temperature of the room seemed to increase by five degrees. A single bead of sweat glistened on Fluttershy’s brow. The tension in the air buzzed.

“Oh hey!” Twilight announced with delight, scanning the wording. “This one’s really appropriate to me! Ahem… ‘Dear Princess Celestia, I’m having some trouble with...blank...and would like your advice!’ Wow. That’s pretty coincidental.”

The table came alive with sounds of rustling cards as four ponies began studying their own collections. Fluttershy - the lone exception - shot a worried glance over to Twilight.

“Umm...so...I pick which one I think you’d find funniest?”

“That’s right. Don’t think you have to take it so seriously, it’s only the first round!”

“You know…” Applejack’s expression crocked like a 9th-drink-of-the-night evening partier as she studied her deck. “Some of these cards seems uhhh...how do ah put this…”

“Strange? Familiar? Stramiliar!?” Pinkie gushed, the first to place a card in front of Twilight.

“Definitely strange.” Rarity added her own.

“Wow. Now I’m extra curious to read mine,” Twilight said as Applejack settled on an answer.

A brief laugh escaped Rainbow’s lips as her card came flying over. “No way that one can lose.”

“Ya sound confident.” Applejack smiled and narrowed her eyes at the pegasus, who produced a lovingly crafted yet still very crude hoof gesture in response. “Fluttershy?”

Five pairs of eyes swivelled to the yellow pony - hiding her face behind her row of raised cards. A reluctant peeking above revealed why: her entire face was flushed with claret.

“Ahh...err....t-this one!” A hurried flick of her hoof and the final card of the round settled beside its black counterpart.

“Jeez...what’s up with you? Got some golden cards there?” Rainbow leaned back, attempting to sneak a look.

“Ahh! No! It’s nothing!” Fluttershy hurriedly clutched her cards to her chest. More than a few sweat beads had joined the original.

“Well...that’s all five. Time to see who gets the point!” Twilight scooped up the white cards and began re-reading the black one still on the table. “‘Dear Princess Celestia, I’m having some trouble with…” She glanced to the first white card. “...a gypsy curse...and would like your advice.”

“Ha! No prizes for guessing whose card that is!” Rainbow announced. Pinkie’s eyes took to darting around the ceiling.

“‘I’m having some trouble with…” Twilight continued. “...a duck-sized donkey...and would like your advice. Ooookaay then...I’m having some trouble with...black ponies?’ Oh boy. Thunderlane wouldn’t like that one.”

“Seems rather unfair,” Rarity agreed, with Pinkie giggling to herself. “Dark fur is quite the minority, though rumour has it it’ll be the centrepoint of next year’s fashion-line in Canterlot. Preparations are already in place to bring in black ponies from overseas. Quite the expense is being made.”

“Oh my.” Fluttershy hid one eye beneath a lock of pink hair.

“Next one.” Twilight flipped over another card. “‘I’m having some trouble with...the horrifying contents of Fluttershy’s shed...and would like your advice.’”

For a second time, all eyes focused on Fluttershy. Rainbow grinned maniacally, shattering the suspense of whose card it'd been.

“What? But I...oh dear...I don’t even have a...well I guess you could call it a shed but...there’s nothing in there that would be...umm...ahh! How did they even know my name?” she squealed adorably, threatening to sink underneath the table.

“Can’t say I was expecting any of us to be part of the answers either,” Applejack said, tilting her hat back. “Remind me t’pay a visit to your shed next time ah visit the cottage tho’.”

“Me too,” Rainbow smirked.

“Anyway,” Twilight called, hoping to spare her friend’s blushes. “The last card is...’I’m having some trouble with...snk…” A very unladylike snort burst forth as she mentally read the card. “Ahem...puberty...and I would like your advice…”

Fluttershy really did sink underneath the table this time, and Rainbow rounded on her. “No way! That was your one!? Bwahahahahaha!” Dash curled up in a fit of laughter, triggering a chain reaction as Rarity, Pinkie and Applejack followed suit in fits of giggles.

“No argument here! First point goes to Fluttershy!” Twilight announced, levitating the black card over to the now absent space at the table. “Aw, don’t feel bad about it. Princess Celestia actually did give me a few tips when I was too nervous to ask my parents. Like that time-”

“Annnnndd that’s probably more than enough information we need to hear sugarcube.” Applejack interrupted, hastily placing one hoof over her friend’s mouth while using the other to pat her shoulder. “Looks like it’s Pinkie’s turn to be the Saw.”

“It’s ‘Tzar’...” Twilight muttered behind the oral obstruction as Pinkie gladly grabbed the next black card. At the same time, Fluttershy found the inner courage to return to the surface world with as much of her hair covering her face as she could feasibly allow. Only the barest hint of an eye showed through.

“Oh my gosh! You girls are gonna looovvveee this one!” Pinkie smiled an evil, sickly sweet smile that would no doubt impress the richest of chocolate gateaux.

“We’re ready, I think. Rainbow, stop it, it’s Pinkie’s turn.” Rarity wiped her eye to clear away some sniggering-induced tears. “Hit us, darling.”

“Why am I sticky?”

To her innocent yet commendable credit, Pinkie utterly missed the subsequent mortified faces that spread round the table.

Author's Note:

To Be Continued

And yes, it does get much worse from here on out.

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